lotharson, after re-reading your post I think I might understand the point of confusion. I really didn’t understand your example:

“Let us suppose that the probability of God’s existence is 20%, 40% or 70%?

Does that mean that (accordingly) God exist in 20%, 40% or 70% of all cases?”

I don’t know why you have three different numbers or what you mean by “cases”, but the fact that you are using numbers in that range might explain the confusion.

If the odds come out to be 20% to 70% or anything even remotely close, then there really is no meaning to that. If the odds of a theory being correct are one out of ten, then of course it could well be true, or even if it is one in a million, although it becomes much less credible.

But if we are talking about odds of 1 out ten to the 400th power, it is time to give up on the science-stopping random chance guesswork and find a real answer.

Odds of creating even one functional protein through Darwinistic luck was calculated at 1 out of 10 to the 4500th power. To put this in context, there are only 1 times 10 to the 90th particles in the universe. The great mathematician Emile Borel considered that odds of 1 out of 10 to the 50th power was logically presumed to mean that the event did not happen by chance.

Impossible is impossible and the numbers don’t lie. The one thing we can eliminate in any explanation of life’s biogenesis, evolution or any aspect of life as we know it, is random happenstance.

]]>I really can’t agree that mathematical odds are meaningless.

I do agree that they can be difficult to ascertain, but reasonable estimates can be made and we can always err on the conservative side to get a result and then calculate a second time erring on the liberal side and find a plausible range of probabilities.

Difficult, yeah sure, but meaningless? Hardly.

To put things succinctly, if your theory is statistically impossible, then you are wrong. That’s how meaningful calculating odds are.

What is meaningless is claiming that random chance causes something, and yet never bothering to calculate the odds. The Darwinian Fallacy comes to mind.

When things seem impossible to happen by chance, your intuition is probably correct. Still, if challenged, impossibility can certainly be confirmed through mathematical calculations.

Either way, the only thing that is meaningless on this topic is to claim luck as a cause when it is not possible.

]]>I definitely don’t see any point in trying to pretend that we can assign a mathematical value to this, agreed.

But I do think that it is more than intuitive by the common sense of the term. If, however, you meant it in the formal sense of a rational intuition as used by philosophers, I’d completely agree.

It does seem to me to be one of the rational intuitions that we should accept.

]]>Intuitively speaking, yes.

But I don’t believe that numerical probabilities are meaningful if they concern philosophical questions.

Cheers.

]]>Greetings to you as well!

I definitely have my reservations about the issue of probability. And, yes, I tend to agree with the idea that the ontological probability of God is either 0 or 1. But I see no reason why, in theory, one couldn’t point to an epistemological probability of God’s existence, which is clearly what Swineburne is discussing.

And I definitely think that the point that theism is a better explanation than “there is no explanation” is valid.

But, arguments aside, best to you out there.

]]>The problem is not that it is difficult, the problem is that it is meaningless.

To my mind Bayesian epistemology is pretty dubious in situations which cannot be related to frequential probabilities.

And the probability values are nothing more than subjective brain states with no relations to the real world.

Let us suppose that the probability of God’s existence is 20%, 40% or 70%?

Does that mean that (accordingly) God exist in 20%, 40% or 70% of all cases?

Just stating it sounds quite silly.

I agree that Mackie was one of the greatest atheistic philosopher who has ever lived.

Dawkins and Harris are buffons in comparison.

Cheers from Europe.

]]>🙂

]]>The atheists agree!

]]>No, as the atheists who pop by will tell you, I’m very much a theist (a Christian, to be more precise).

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